In 1962 the races were mainly to the swift—the Yankees, the Celtics, Bill Hartack at the Derby. Often the margin was slim, as when Skipper Bus Mosbacher took 'Weatherly' (left) around the first buoy in the America's Cup and found 'Gretel,' the Australian challenger, within striking distance. It was even tighter as Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants lashed out (next page) to help win a melodramatic pennant playoff against the Dodgers—and tighter still when the Giants lost in the subsequent seven-game World Series. On succeeding pages are some of the champions—and the gallant runners-up who helped create the other decisive moments in sport in 1962
'Australians everywhere stand 10 feet tall'
Australian sportsmen, always a bold and lusty lot, held an extra measure of pride for their achievements in 1962. Rod Laver, the nimble left-hander, became the first to win the Grand Slam of tennis—U.S., French, Australian and Wimbledon titles—since Don Budge did it in 1938, the year Laver was born. In the Empire Games in Perth. Murray Rose and Dawn Fraser won four gold medals apiece, to puce their country's victory. Rose, at 24 the grand old man of swimming, set four world records during 1962; Dawn set four, too, and became the only woman to swim 100 meters in less than a minute. Although Gretel was beaten in the America's Cup series, the courageous performance of both ship and crew—highlighted by a victory in the second race—stirred one Aussie to comment: "Australians everywhere stand 10 feet tall today."
'A little extra...gets something wonderful back'
"If you put in a little extra," says Maury Wills, "sometimes you get something wonderful back." In 1962 the Dodger shortstop gave it something extra, stole 104 bases to break Ty Cobb's record and was voted the National League's Most Valuable Player. Young (22) Jack Nicklaus also pushed himself to new prominence in 1962. He began the year, his first as a pro, by finishing 50th and winning $33.33 in the Los Angeles Open. He wound up winning the U.S. Open and amassing $113,000 in prize money. Another champion on the rise was Roger Penske, 25, whose four straight sports car races at year's end included a record-breaking victory in the Nassau Trophy Race. Littlest (he weighs 98 pounds) of the athletes was Jockey Ronnie Ferraro, 19, who as an apprentice rode 345 winners to knock down the national championship.
'Now I can jump 7½ feet. That's all'
January 7, 1963
Valeri Brumel lies jubilant in the high-jump pit at Moscow's Lenin Stadium. It is Sept. 29, 1962 and he has just cleared 7 feet 5¼ inches lo break the world record he set in the U.S. two months earlier. Brumel covers his eyes, fearful that the crossbar may yet fall; but the crowd's great shout tells him he made it. "I felt the stadium took it to heart as I did," Brumel said. "When I was 12," he has said, "I started out by jumping four feet. Now I can jump 7½ feet. Thai's all."
Along with Brumel's feats, Russia got memorable 1962 victories from Vyacheslav Ivanov, who won the single sculls at the world championships, from Shotputter Tamara Press, Broad Jumper Tatiana Shchelkanova and Javelin Thrower Elvira Ozolina, who led the U.S.S.R. to victory in the European Games.
A rare galaxy of national treasures
Edison Arantes do Nascimento, called Pelé, was declared a national treasure by Brazil: an Italian team offered $500,000 for the soccer star, but national treasures cannot be exported. Little Pelé—he weighs 135 pounds—plays for Santos, the world champions. He has averaged a goal a game for six years, which is roughly like hitting 162 home runs per season. Karl Schranz and Marianne John are also treasured, though not yet by decree. Leading Austria's resurgence in skiing, Schranz won the downhill and combined titles at the world championships, making a comeback at 23; Fr√§ulein John took the giant and special slaloms. No less a hero was France's leading jockey, Yves Saint-Martin, who made his U.S. debut by winning the Laurel International on Match II.
Pretty to look at and pretty darn good
JoAnne Gunderson, one of a large covey of pretty girls who held major sports lilies this year, yearns for two things in this world: victory and apples. Fortified by the apples she picked as she passed a tree on the ninth fairway at the Country Club of Rochester, she won the National Amateur for the third time. "Winning builds up my ego," she said, "and it keeps me out of mischief." Two other persistent—and pretty—winners were Rumania's Yolanda Balas, who has improved her world high jumping record 13 times in the past six years (it is now 6 feet 3), and blonde West German sprinter Jutta Heine, winner of the 200-meter dash al the European Championships.